Friday, August 28, 2015

Happy mom is a good mom

It was the usual routine. I video chatted with Zoe while she was having dinner but at one point she started crying because she misses me so much. I tried comforting her, but I always tear up too. Her dad then cut our conversation short as usual because Zoe needed to take a bath (they do bath every night) and we hung up, after she promised me she would call soon again (although I always call her). I had just explained how I'd made a Skype id for her and that she could now call me from her own phone (she has an iPod touch for games, which she calls her phone). And as always, I felt a rock in my stomach and I considered grabbing my bag and head for the airport to catch the first flight to Stockholm to see her.

Walking home later from the Grumpy coffee shop where I had enjoyed a flat white while editing a student's paper, I had a minor revelation. I am here in New York because I know it is best for me and I cannot forget that. And that's the irony. Because even though from the outside, it looks like it would be 'best' for Zoe to have me close by in Stockholm, it would not be best for her to have a depressed mother who hates her job very much. In fact, I don't think it is fair for parents to give up their own happiness for their children, it only bites them in the back later through guilt feelings and blame. It's not simple though and it also doesn't work well in a motherhood popularity contest.

The west village apartment
I reminded myself to think about my situation and opportunities here again. Just lie down and think thoroughly about is. Is this what I want? The New York job, the West Village apartment, the Brooklyn boyfriend? At night I did just that. And even after two phone calls with my new colleague who needed my help on a document that very evening I had no doubts about those three. These are exactly the things I always wanted. Now if just Zoe could get the only thing that she wants too, then we would be all fine.

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